WHIFFS AND GUFFS ARE PRETTY TOUGH
The decorative metal hall filled with more and more stinky creatures. Each breed seemed to generate its own style of stink, whiff or pong. Tingle and Josh could never have guessed that there was such a variety of dreadful smells and so many special creatures could create them.
Bertie grinned mischievously, as he watched the group shift uncomfortably. ‘There are a few more varieties of stench creating creatures, but the most abundant are the earliest breed… Let me introduce you to the original Little Stinkers, and whether you realise it or not, you are surrounded by them.’
John made a loud laugh which trailed off, when hundreds of small creatures emerged from the walls, all carrying the same pattern as the tiles. As they moved, the pattern on their body changed to match the floor. They looked like racoons and appeared to be wearing eye masks of fur.
‘They are like fluffy chameleons mixed with racoons,’ said Tingle. ‘We learned about chameleons at school. They can blend into any background and you can’t see them. That is their special defence system.’
‘These are even better than chameleons,’ said Mildred. ‘Not only can they blend in, they can create great stinks and no one will know the source of the silent and stinky surprise. We can send thousands of them to a chosen location. They can surround the walls and hide in plain sight. Then, when a signal is made, they can all release the perfect stink. That is how Sebastian created the Great Stink before. Some of their stinks are so powerful that they can even make people pass out.’
Dianne and John shuffled uncomfortably when they noticed Mildred rustle in her bag once more while Bertie reached into his inside pocket. They both produced a clear nose cover, which appeared to have a filter in it. At the same time Auntie Joanna silently rummaged through her bag and glanced at Tingle and Josh who were watching her every move.
‘Sooooo….’ said John trying to distract from the fact that Auntie Joanna was up to something. Dianne squeezed his hand to support him. They had all figured something out. There were funny little stink creatures in all directions, Mildred and Bertie had special nasty niff nose guards and Auntie Joanna was urgently rummaging through her bag… It didn’t look good.
Tingle glanced down the stairs behind her and tried to figure out where the exit to Waftness was. For a moment she wondered whether there was a Waftness monster. A creature like a huge dragon that was the maker of the ultimate stink. Why else would the pumping station have such a strange name?
There was a moment where everyone suddenly understood what was going to happen. In the silence a gurgling sound began to rumble through the creatures. Dianne and John frowned, that gurgling couldn’t suggest anything good was brewing. The gurgling increased and all the stinky creatures began to sing. It was like an Odourus Opera. As each creature began to sing a stink was released into the air. Auntie Joanna shook her head – ‘They are creating a Symphony of Stink. As they sing louder the stink will become stronger,’ she cried.
Mildred and Bertie, grinned triumphantly and covered their noses with their nasty niff nose guards. They seemed to be waiting for the funky finale. The song grew louder, the gurgling rumbled and stinks were released in all directions. As the symphony reached its crescendo Auntie Joanna found what she was looking for, she quietly unwrapped it and cast it into the middle of the room. A small air freshener landed on the floor. The symphony silenced and curious Stinkers went and sniffed the oddity.
‘Hmmmmm,’ said one approvingly.
‘Is that it? Is that all you’ve got?’ Mildred cried with a cackle.
At the same time Auntie Joanna signalled for Josh and Tingle to sneak away rather than run.
While all the creatures were caught up in sniffing the air freshener, Josh and Tingle snuck down the spiralling stairs and followed a corridor to a large door. They quietly turned the large looped handle, opened the door and peered through. It looked dark with a few ornate lanterns leaning from the walls. At the end of the corridor there was light but neither Tingle nor Josh could work out whether that was daylight or something else. Tingle glanced at Josh, where else could they go? The passageway had a light at the end. Surely that would take them outside. Why else would there be light underground?
‘Where are the children?’ cried Mildred from upstairs. The symphony grew louder. The Reeky Cheekies shook and blasted into the air releasing a sour stench like mouldy vegetables. A moment later the thuds of grown-ups falling to the ground rattled through the metal floor. Josh studied Tingle, ‘The stink got mum and dad didn’t it?’
Tingle nodded, ‘We are going to have to get help,’ said Tingle. ‘We need to go down this corridor.’
‘I’m a bit scared,’ said Josh squirming.
‘Me too,’ said Tingle. ‘We have to keep going though.’
The symphony came to an end with a giant raspberry – ‘Thwaarrrp!’
‘Find the children, they can’t escape. They will let the world know what is coming and they can’t ruin our plans!’ Mildred cried. In that moment there was a roar of raspberry sounds which could only mean one thing… The Little Stinkers were after them!
Illustrations by Robin Dry – Thank you so much!!!